I’ll never understand why England’s F.A. are hellbent on pouring cold water on the never ending war-of-words between Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger. Said spat sells papers, boosts ratings and helps swell the coffers to the point where the F.A.’s chief exec can afford to date the same girl as the national side’s manager.
When Arsene Wenger said, in response to Sir Alex Ferguson’s denunciation of him in The Independent, “I will never answer any questions any more about this man,” few felt he would be able to resist for long. Sure enough the Arsenal manager has already resumed the conflict telling French television he believed Ferguson “has lost all sense of reality”.
Wenger’s outburst will delight Ferguson, whose attempt to goad Wenger has reaped spectacular reward, and dismay the Football Association as it fights a rearguard action against the rising tide of venom. To this end the FA yesterday asked Chelsea to account for Jose Mourinho’s contribution to last week’s verbal jousting but had hoped to pass the Ferguson-Wenger dispute onto the League Managers’ Association. The LMA yesterday said that disciplinary action was outside its remit.
It is hard to imagine, however, that anyone could have gagged Wenger (above) after reading Ferguson describe him as a “disgrace”, Arsenal as “the worst losers of all time”, and accuse him of confronting Ferguson in the tunnel after Manchester United had beaten the champions in October. Ferguson also said Wenger should apologise – but he did not expect him “ever to apologise for anything – he’s that type of person.”
Wenger told TPS Star television: “[Ferguson] has lost all sense of reality to the extent that he is going out and looking for a confrontation and asking the person to apologise. Ferguson’s out of order. He has pushed the cork in a bit far this time and he has lost a lot of credibility.”